8 Finest Canadian Cities to Go to Now That the Border Has Opened

The Canadian border reopened to American vacationers on Aug. 9 (and is now open to vacationers from different nations as effectively), that means all 3.8 million sq. miles of the nation are as soon as once more yours to discover—supplied you’re absolutely vaccinated. If you’re, then you definately may be questioning about one of the best Canadian cities to take a look at this fall.



The Nice White North has at all times been a preferred vacation spot amongst People, which is not any shock on condition that the 2 nations share the biggest bi-national land border on the earth. Nowadays Canada is arguably extra alluring than ever because it’s nearer and simpler to go to than many different worldwide hotspots.

However which cities throughout Canada’s ten provinces and three territories do you have to try first? That’s a matter of style, in fact, however to get you began, our resident Canuck (the writer) has you coated with this checklist of one of the best Canadian cities to discover.

The 8 Finest Canadian Cities to Go to

1. Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, situated on Canada’s West Coast, has lots going for it. It’s dwelling to unimaginable eating places and bars. Its expansive public transit system—highlighted by the well-known SkyTrain—makes it straightforward to get round. It boasts every kind of museums, galleries, and annual festivals, lots of that are free to attend. And it’s populated—for probably the most half—by pleasant, laid-back locals.

Vancouver’s actual energy, although, is its closeness to nature. Perched on the Strait of Georgia, its shoreline is dotted with picturesque seashores—Kitsilano and the clothing-optional Wreck Seashore are native favorites—and criss-crossed with trails. Look inland, and also you’ll spot towering mountains that may be hiked within the hotter months and skied or snowboarded within the winter (Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour are each shut by).

2. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto, which towers over Lake Ontario, isn’t solely Canada’s largest metropolis, but additionally its most visited. Earlier than the pandemic put the journey trade in a stranglehold, town noticed greater than 27 million vacationers a yr—and for good cause.

Toronto has one thing for everybody: unimaginable eating places, bustling nightlife, loads of artwork, tons of reside music and reside sports activities, some unimaginable structure—you may’t miss the CN Tower—and much more inexperienced house than you’d count on from a metropolis of its dimension. Guests to town additionally achieve entry to Toronto Island Park, a sprawling island full with an amusement park, mountaineering trails, reside occasions, and extra.

3. Montreal, Quebec

Historic. Gritty. Artsy. All phrases that can be utilized to explain Montreal, the biggest metropolis in La Belle Province—the French-speaking province of Quebec.

Montreal sits on an island within the Saint Lawrence River. It has lengthy been one among Canada’s most necessary delivery ports, however that’s not its solely declare to fame. The town is jam-packed with unimaginable searching for all tastes and budgets, and it has a few of the nation’s best possible eating places (be sure to get some poutine, one of many area’s most well-known dishes). It’s additionally a hub for the humanities with frequent concert events and festivals in its many public parks, together with the famed Mount Royal Park. And relaxation assured, whilst you might need a handful of clumsy interactions with French-speaking locals, town could be very welcoming to vacationers, so there’s no must spend hours on Duolingo earlier than you arrive.

4. Halifax, Nova Scotia

Manner out on Canada’s easy-going East Coast you’ll discover Halifax. It’s a small metropolis—the inhabitants is lower than 450,000 individuals—however that’s a energy, not an obstacle: Assume small city appeal with huge metropolis facilities.

Halifax is dwelling to famously pleasant locals and dozens of placid parks and seashores, together with the postcard-worthy Level Nice Park within the South Finish. The town additionally boasts one among Canada’s burgeoning culinary scenes, and the seafood and craft beer in Halifax are notably noteworthy. Don’t miss the donair, a neighborhood tackle a Greek gyro, and contemporary shellfish at The Press Gang.

Halifax can also be one among Canada’s prime reside music locations. Stroll into any bar on Barrington Road or alongside the waterfront, and there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll be greeted by a rousing reside efficiency, typically from artists with Scottish and Irish influences.

5. Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is Canada’s capital metropolis. It used to get a nasty rap as a fun-free authorities city, however it has positively shaken off that status lately. Right now, it has the entire purchasing, eating, nightlife, and cultural points of interest you’d count on from a world-class metropolis. It’s additionally surrounded by some spectacular pure magnificence, because of its place alongside two majestic rivers—the Rideau and the Ottawa—and its proximity to expansive wildernesses like Gatineau Park. Within the winter, it’s additionally the house of the world’s largest skating rink: the Rideau Canal Skateway, the place you may skate the size of a frozen canal that winds proper by way of downtown Ottawa. Carry your blades for those who received ’em, and lease ’em for those who don’t.

6. Victoria, British Columbia

On the south tip of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island you’ll discover the charming metropolis of Victoria. Like Halifax on the East Coast, it’s a small metropolis that punches effectively above its weight when it comes to points of interest. Victoria’s primary declare to fame is its prime location proper on the water and the various alternatives for out of doors journey that presents. Paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, swimming, diving, and whale watching are all nice methods to spend time right here. However that’s not all you’ll discover in Victoria. This charming coastal metropolis can also be dwelling to excellent meals, a thriving reside music scene, and unimaginable historical past you can discover at points of interest just like the Royal British Columbia Museum and Craigdarroch Fort.

7. Whitehorse, Yukon

Whitehorse, the capital of Canada’s rugged Yukon Territory, is a good distance up on the map, however it’s effectively definitely worth the journey for adventurers and nature-lovers.

Whereas Whitehorse is dwelling to some stable eating places and purchasing, it’s usually used as a leaping off level to discover close by points of interest. Highlights embrace mountaineering rugged Miles Canyon and exploring the 700-acre Yukon Wildlife Protect, which is dwelling to 13 species of Northern Canadian mammals dwelling of their pure habitats, together with moose, musk ox, wooden bison, and woodland caribou. Whitehorse can also be among the finest vantage factors on the earth to view the northern lights. Undoubtedly carry your digicam on this journey.

8. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown is a tiny metropolis on an island that most individuals exterior of Canada possible haven’t heard of earlier than. That’s a disgrace, as a result of it has lots going for it. What Charlottetown lacks in skyscrapers and crowded nightclubs it makes up for with rustic lighthouses, cozy pubs serving native beer, scrumptious contemporary seafood, and charming artwork galleries. Its location on the water additionally means guests have ample alternatives for boating, fishing, swimming, whale watching and extra. And for those who’re a historical past buff, you’ll discover loads of attention-grabbing websites to discover on this metropolis, together with St. Dunstan’s Basilica Cathedral and Beaconsfield Historic Home.

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